Imagine your place on the bookshelf of the future

Louise Welsh, author of novels including The Cutting Room and A Lovely Way to Burn

How do you write a good pitch to a literary agent or publisher?

 

Your aim is to keep off what publishers rudely refer to as ‘the slush pile’. Sure, some great writers have been discovered there, but not many. Try to make a personal connection with a publisher/agent. I can imagine you rolling your eyes at this, but it is good advice. Book festivals such as Bloody Scotland and Harrogate have pitching sessions. It takes courage, but these are golden opportunities to present your work to publishers and agents. Attend literary events and politely tell industry professionals about your book. Do not be quirky/rude/drunk. Do not be a limpet. Everyone wants to work with someone who will behave professionally. Try to publish extracts of your work in magazines and on respected websites. Comfort yourself with reminders of great authors such as Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë who initially struggled to get published. Publishers and agents want to discover new talent. It could be you. Good luck!